Report of the First Presidency, 7 April 1841

tier than the mighty waves of the sea.”  Nor, have the flames of persecution,  with all the influence of mobs, been  able to destroy it; but like Moses’ bush  it has stood unconsumed, and now at  this moment presents an important  spectacle both to men and angels.—  Where can we turn our eyes to behold  such another? We contemplate a peo ple who have embraced a system of  religion unpopular, and the adherence  to which has brought upon them repea ted persecutions—a people who for their  love of God and attachment to his  cause, have suffered hunger, naked ness, perils, and almost every privation —a people, who, for the sake of their  religion, have had to mour[n] the pre mature deaths of parents, husbands,  wives, and children—a people who  have prefered death to slavery and  hypocracy, and have honorably main tained their characters, and stood firm  and immovable, in times that have tried  men’s souls.
Stand fast, ye Saints of God, hold  on a little while longer, and the storms  of life will be past, and you will be re warded by that God whose servants  you are, and who will duly appreciate  all your toils and afflictions for Christ’s  sake and the gospel’s. Your names will  be handed down to posterity as saints  of God, and virtuous men.
But we hope that those scenes of  blood and gore will never more occur,  but that many, very many such scenes  as the present will be witnessed by the  saints, and that in the Temple, the  foundation of which has been so hap pily laid, will the saints of the Most  High continue to congregate from year  to year, in peace and safety.
From the kind and generous feel ings manifest, by the citizens of this  State, since our sojourn among them,  we may continue to expect the enjoy ment of all the blessings of civil and  religious liberty, guaranteed by the  constitution. The citizens of Illinois  have done themselves honor in throw ing the mantle of the constitution over  a persecuted and afflicted people; and  have given evident proof, that they  are not only in the enjoyment of the  privileges of freemen themselves, but  that they willingly and cheerfully ex tend that invaluable blessing to others,  and that they freely award to faithful ness and virtue their due.
The proceedings of the Legislature  in regard to the citizens of this place  have been marked with philanthropy  and benevelence; and they have laid  us under great and lasting obligations,  in granting us the several liberal char ters we now enjoy, and by which we  hope to prosper, until our City becomes  the most splendid, our University the  most learned, and our Legion the most  effective, of any in the Union. In the  language of one of our own poets, we  would say,
In Illinois we’ve found a safe retreat,
A home, a shelter from oppressions  dire;
Where we can worship God as we think  right,
And mobbers come not to disturb our  peace;
Where we can live and hope for better  days,
Enjoy again our liberty, our rights:
That social intercourse which freedom  grants,
And charity requires of man to man.
And long may charity pervade each  breast,
And long may Illinois remain the  scene
Of rich prosperity by peace secured!
In consequence of the impoverish ed condition of the saints, the buildings  which are in progress of erection do not  progress as fast as could be desired;  but from the interest which is generally  manifested by the saints at large, we  hope to accomplish much by a combi nation of effort, and a concentration of  action, and erect the Temple and oth er buildings, which we so much need  for our mutual instruction and the ed ucation of our children.
From the reports which have been  received, we may expect a large emi gration this season. The proclama tion which was sent some time ago to  the churches abroad, has been respond ed to, and great numbers are making  preparations to come and locate them selves in this city and vicinity.
From what we now witness, we are  led to look forward with pleasing an ticipation to the future, and soon ex pect to see the thousands of Israel flock ing to this region, in obedience to the [p. 385]
JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith, Report, Nauvoo, IL, 7 Apr. 1841; in Times and Seasons, 15 Apr. 1841, 2:384–386.